Ah! Good point on the Sarmatians. I actually have a copy of Herodotus' The Histories. I'll have to look them up. Traviss has already stated on her [link=http://blogs.starwars.com/karentraviss/106]StarWars.com blog[/link] that she based Mando culture primarily on the Celts ([link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts]Wiki on the Celts[/link]. The ancient Celts were a ethnically and geographically diverse people that shared the same basic culture and language. Archaeological digs have shown that Celtic culture spanned all across Europe and even east of Greece ([link=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/Celts_800-400BC.PNG]Celtic culture map[/link]). As a fledgling fictional culture, I think it would be appropriate incorporate elements of any society that we felt synced with Traviss' concept. For example, I think an son of Mandalore would agree with the verses found in "Sayings of the High One" from the Norse The Poetic Edda: The foolish man thinks he will live forever, if he keeps away from fighting; but old age won't grant him truce even if the spears do. - stanza 16, Sayings of the High One Cattle die, kinsmen die, the self must also die; but glory never dies, for the man who is able to achieve it. Cattle die, kinsmen die, the self must also die; I know one thing which never dies: the reputation of each dead man. - stanzas 76 & 77, Sayings of the High One And from the other side of the world, we can appreciate the pragmatism of the samurai: For warriors of lesser rank , it is particularly desirable that they learn to ride well, so that they can ride any horse, even rambunctious and unruly horses. Let me explain. Fine horses easy to ride are rare; even if they exist, they are the mounts of great warriors, not found tethered in the stables of warriors of lesser rank. But, if you master horsemanship, you can spot a horse that is good but is too rambunctious, temperamental, or unruly and buy it for a low price; thus you can always have a better horse than you could normally afford. - from Part 1, Chapter 10 'Horsemanship', Code of the Samurai Of course, this should all be taken with a grain of salt. Saying of the High One is rife with chauvinism. Samurai bushido is ultimately a form of institutionalization to condition highly trained warrior to be fanatically subservient to their lords. I really don't see Mandalorians being inherently sexist or gladly accepting a bag of rice for putting their life on the line. But, there's a lot to be gleaned and synthesized from real-world archaic warrior societies when developing your own unique, fictional one.